There's something strange yet familiar about Motel Mirrors — like an old photograph of a place you think you know, but don't quite remember having visited.
The casual chemistry between Amy LaVere and John Paul Keith makes it seem like this happens all the time — boy meets girl, boy plays girl some songs, boy and girl form band. «it's not that we really decided to have a band,» Keith tells it. «It's just that by the time we got done having coffee she'd decided we were a band and was already booking shows for us. By the time I got home, we were exchanging ideas for band names.»
Or, as LaVere says: «I've always wanted a duet partner — it was immediately obvious JP's musical taste and aesthetic fit mine perfectly… I wasn't going to let him get away.»
If the collaboration was obvious to LaVere, the style was obvious to Keith: he wanted to emulate the classic 50s and 60s country duets — George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn. The two dove into their respective record collections, searching for songs they could make their own.
And so they became Motel Mirrors. The pair spent that winter with drummer Shawn Zorn, playing residency gigs at a few bars around Memphis, discovering their sound in those songs and developing original material. After a few months, LaVere approached Keith about an opportunity to record — she'd talked about the project with her label, Archer Records, and there was interest.